Isaac Settles in Gerar
1Now there was a famine in the land, besides the previous famine that had occurred in the days of Abraham. So Isaac went to Gerar, to Abimelech king of the Philistines. 2And the Lord appeared to him and said, “Do not go down to Egypt; stay in the land of which I shall tell you. 3Live for a time in this land and I will be with you and bless you, for to you and to your #26:3 Lit seeddescendants I will give all these lands, and I will establish the oath which I swore to your father Abraham. 4I will multiply your #26:4 Lit seeddescendants as the stars of heaven, and will give your #26:4 Lit seeddescendants all these lands; and by your #26:4 Lit seeddescendants all the nations of the earth #26:4 Or bless themselvesshall be blessed, 5because Abraham #26:5 Lit listened diligently to My voiceobeyed Me and fulfilled his duty to Me, and kept My commandments, My statutes, and My laws.”
6So Isaac lived in Gerar. 7When the men of the place asked about his wife, he said, “She is my sister,” for he was afraid to say, “my wife,” thinking, “#26:7 Lit lest...placethe men of the place might kill me on account of Rebekah, since she is beautiful.” 8Now it came about, when he had been there a long time, that Abimelech king of the Philistines looked down through a window, and saw them, and behold, Isaac was caressing his wife Rebekah. 9Then Abimelech called Isaac and said, “Behold, she certainly is your wife! So how is it that you said, ‘She is my sister’?” And Isaac said to him, “Because I thought, ‘otherwise I might be killed on account of her.’ ” 10And Abimelech said, “What is this that you have done to us? One of the people might easily have slept with your wife, and you would have brought guilt upon us.” 11So Abimelech commanded all the people, saying, “He who touches this man or his wife will certainly be put to death.”
12Now Isaac sowed in that land and #26:12 Lit foundreaped in the same year a hundred times as much. And the Lord blessed him, 13and the man became rich, and continued to grow #26:13 Lit greatricher until he became very #26:13 Lit greatwealthy; 14for he had possessions of flocks #26:14 Lit and possessions of herdsand herds, and a great household, so that the Philistines envied him. 15Now all the wells which his father’s servants had dug in the days of his father Abraham, the Philistines stopped up #26:15 Lit and filled themby filling them with dirt. 16Then Abimelech said to Isaac, “Go away from us, for you are #26:16 Lit much mightier than wetoo powerful for us.” 17So Isaac departed from there and camped in the Valley of Gerar, and #26:17 Lit dweltsettled there.
Argument over the Wells
18Then Isaac dug again the wells of water which #26:18 Lit they had dughad been dug in the days of his father Abraham, for the Philistines had stopped them up after the death of Abraham; and he #26:18 Lit called their names as the namesgave them the same names which his father had #26:18 Lit calledgiven them. 19But when Isaac’s servants dug in the valley and found there a well of #26:19 Lit livingflowing water, 20the herdsmen of Gerar quarreled with the herdsmen of Isaac, saying, “The water is ours!” So he named the well #26:20 I.e., argumentEsek, because they argued with him. 21Then they dug another well, and they quarreled over it too, so he named it #26:21 I.e., accusationSitnah. 22Then he moved away from there and dug another well, and they did not quarrel over it; so he named it #26:22 I.e., broad placesRehoboth, for he said, “#26:22 Lit Truly nowAt last the Lord has made #26:22 Or broadroom for us, and we will be fruitful in the land.”
23And he went up from there to Beersheba. 24And the Lord appeared to him the same night and said,
“I am the God of your father Abraham;
Do not fear, for I am with you.
I will bless you and multiply your #26:24 Lit seeddescendants,
For the sake of My servant Abraham.”
25So he built an altar there and called upon the name of the Lord, and pitched his tent there; and there Isaac’s servants dug a well.
Covenant with Abimelech
26Then Abimelech came to him from Gerar #26:26 Lit and his confidential friendwith his adviser Ahuzzath, and Phicol the commander of his army. 27Isaac said to them, “Why have you come to me, since you hate me and have sent me away from you?” 28They said, “We have seen plainly that the Lord has been with you; so we said, ‘An oath must now be taken #26:28 Lit between usby us,’ that is, #26:28 Lit between us and youby you and us. So let us make a covenant with you, 29that you will do us no harm, just as we have not touched you #26:29 Lit and just as weand have done to you nothing but good, and have sent you away in peace. You are now the blessed of the Lord.” 30Then he made them a feast, and they ate and drank. 31In the morning they got up early and #26:31 Lit swore one to anotherexchanged oaths; then Isaac sent them away, and they left him in peace. 32Now it came about on the same day, that Isaac’s servants came in and told him about the well which they had dug, and said to him, “We have found water.” 33So he called it #26:33 Meaning uncertain, perhaps oathShibah; therefore the name of the city is Beersheba to this day.
34When Esau was forty years old he #26:34 Lit took as wifemarried Judith the daughter of Beeri the Hittite, and Basemath the daughter of Elon the Hittite; 35and they #26:35 Lit were a bitterness of spirit tobrought grief to Isaac and Rebekah.
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Isaac Lies to Abimelech
1Now there was a famine. This was like the famine that happened during Abraham’s life. So Isaac went to the town of Gerar, to King Abimelech of the Philistines. 2The Lord spoke to Isaac and said, “Don’t go down to Egypt. Live in the land that I commanded you to live in. 3Stay in this land, and I will be with you. I will bless you. I will give you and your family all these lands. I will do what I promised to Abraham your father. 4I will make your family as many as the stars of heaven, and I will give all these lands to your family. Through your descendants#26:4 descendants Or “Descendant.” See Gal. 3:16. every nation on earth will be blessed. 5I will do this because your father Abraham obeyed my words and did what I said. He obeyed my commands, my laws, and my rules.”
6So Isaac settled in Gerar. 7His wife Rebekah was very beautiful. The men of that place asked Isaac about Rebekah. He said, “She is my sister.” He was afraid to tell them Rebekah was his wife. He was afraid the men would kill him so that they could have her.
8After Isaac had lived there a long time, Abimelech looked out of his window and saw Isaac and his wife enjoying one another. 9Abimelech called for Isaac and said, “This woman is your wife. Why did you tell us that she was your sister?”
Isaac said to him, “I was afraid that you would kill me so that you could have her.”
10Abimelech said, “You have done a bad thing to us. One of our men might have had sex with your wife. Then he would be guilty of a great sin.”
11So Abimelech gave a warning to all the people. He said, “No one must hurt this man or this woman. If anyone hurts them, they will be killed.”
Isaac Becomes Rich
12Isaac planted fields in that place, and that year he gathered a great harvest. The Lord blessed him very much. 13Isaac became rich. He gathered more and more wealth until he became a very rich man. 14He had many flocks and herds of animals. He also had many slaves. All the Philistines were jealous of him. 15So they destroyed all the wells that Isaac’s father Abraham and his servants had dug many years before. They filled them with sand. 16Abimelech said to Isaac, “Leave our country. You have become much more powerful than we are.”
17So Isaac left that place and camped near the little river of Gerar. He stayed there and lived. 18Long before this time, Abraham had dug many wells. After he died, the Philistines filled the wells with sand. So Isaac went back and dug those wells again. He gave them the same names his father had given them. 19Isaac’s servants also dug a well near the little river and found fresh water.#26:19 fresh water Or “an underground stream.” Literally, “living water.” 20But the men who herded sheep in the Valley of Gerar argued with Isaac’s servants. They said, “This water is ours.” So Isaac named that well Esek.#26:20 Esek This means “argument” or “fight.” He gave it that name because it was the place where they had argued with him.
21Then Isaac’s servants dug another well. But there was an argument over this well too. So Isaac named that well Sitnah.#26:21 Sitnah This means “hatred” or “being an enemy.”
22Isaac moved from there and dug another well. No one came to argue about this well. So Isaac named it Rehoboth.#26:22 Rehoboth This means “open place” or “crossroads.” He said, “Now the Lord has found a place for us. We will grow and be successful in this place.”
23From there Isaac went to Beersheba. 24The Lord spoke to him that night and said, “I am the God of your father Abraham. Don’t be afraid. I am with you, and I will bless you. I will make your family great. I will do this because of my servant Abraham.” 25So Isaac built an altar and worshiped the Lord in that place. He set up camp there, and his servants dug a well.
26Abimelech came from Gerar to see Isaac. He brought with him Ahuzzath, his advisor, and Phicol, the commander of his army.
27Isaac asked, “Why have you come to see me? You were not friendly to me before. You even forced me to leave your country.”
28They answered, “Now we know that the Lord is with you. We think that we should make an agreement. We want you to make a promise to us. 29We did not hurt you; now you should promise not to hurt us. We sent you away, but we sent you away in peace. Now it is clear that the Lord has blessed you.”
30So Isaac gave a party for them. They all ate and drank. 31Early the next morning each man made a promise and a vow. Then the men left in peace.
32On that day Isaac’s servants came and told him about the well they had dug. The servants said, “We found water in that well.” 33So Isaac named it Shibah.#26:33 Shibah A Hebrew word meaning “seven” or “oath.” And that city is still called Beersheba.#26:33 Beersheba This name means “well of the oath.”
34When Esau was 40 years old, he married two Hittite women. One was Judith the daughter of Beeri. The other was Basemath the daughter of Elon. 35These marriages made Isaac and Rebekah very unhappy.
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